Private motorists whose cars have tinted windows will no longer have to drive in fear of their cars being impounded for breaking a traffic rule.
This is after High Court judge George Odunga on Friday quashed Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo’s May 13 directive that motorists whose cars have tinted windows be arrested.
Justice Odunga had temporarily stopped Kimaiyo’s directive on May 20 and granted a reprieve to private motorists, but said the order was illegal, irrational and a procedural impropriety.
“Whoever deals with regulations must fully understand the law and have a legal basis so as not to act with unreasonableness or unfairly, contrary to this is an illegality, irrationality and a procedural impropriety,” he said.
WITHIN THE LAW
The judge said that although the directive might have been issued due to the high spate of insecurity in the country recently, it was against the law as public vehicles are the only ones required not to have tinted windows.
He faulted the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, saying they are mandated to make regulations but must do so in accordance with the law and not use executive powers to influence enforcement of any law.
“Authorities must operate within (the) law not executive exercise; even the executive ought to observe the same in good faith,” said Justice Odunga.
NOT SEEN CLEARLY
A motorist, Akitch Okola, had sued the Inspector General of Police over the directive, claiming that the law only prohibits PSVs from having tinted windows and that the order infringes on the rights of private vehicle owners.
Traffic rules 1953 at Rule 54A states that "a person shall not drive or operate a PSV that is fitted with tinted windows or tinted windscreen."
He had further argued that that law exclusively prohibits PSVs from using tinted windows and in this case tinted means shaded, coloured or treated in a similar manner so that the persons or objects inside are not ordinarily seen clearly from outside.
“Natural legislation is questioned here, the directive for impounding all vehicles without specifications was aimed at amending the Traffic laws although without the right power, I hereby quash that directive and I also prohibit impounding of tinted vehicles or effecting any punishment with regards to the same,” the judge ruled.